USATF Considering Holding A Meet In Mid To Late September, But Undecided On Whether Or Not It Will Serve As The 2020 US Championships

The uncertainty surrounding professional sporting events in 2020 has left many elite athletes, coaches, athlete representatives, and fans asking if USATF will hold a national championship in 2020. Since April, an advisory group of select High Performance Committee members and National Office staff have been meeting regularly, discussing and developing contingency plans and potential options for safely hosting a national season ending event in 2020. Because the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic is continually changing, it continues to challenge all professional sports in their ability to apply their contingency plans and for USATF to set an exact date and location for some form of a Championships event.

Also being discussed is whether it is best to offer a National Championships event in track & field, which the United States has done every year, without interruption for over 120 years, or offer a season ending US-only elite meet without the national championships designation. The changing nature of the COVID-19 in various locations have disparately affected athletes’ ability to train effectively, and a National Championships designation may cause some athletes to feel pressure to train when their current environment may add additional risk. This designation is being discussed and will be determined.

Below is an overview of USATF’s current contingency plans for a 2020 US Open or national season ending event. First and foremost, in this planning is mitigating risk for athletes, coaches, officials, and staff who would travel to and participate in the season ending meet. Included is an initial milestone date for decisions on event viability and release of additional logistical details for planning purposes.

**NOTE: With the ever-changing nature of the pandemic, these contingency plans below will likely be altered. Even when the milestone date is reached and if the event is officially confirmed, a later decision to cancel the meet due to the COVID-19 situation is entirely possible. 

posted Sunday July 5th